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Evil Genius Black Chapel 3.5 x 42

We give the diminutive 3.5 inch version of the Evil Genius Black Chapel a try. This Black Chapel was given to us by the brand owner, Alex Hirsch, at the 2014 IPCPR show. That makes them 11 months old and presumably ripe for the tasting.Evil Genius Black Chapel cigar

Draw: Check out this video of what Alex had to say while we were with him.

Punch: Evil Genius has two lines: the White Chapel and the Black Chapel. We are starting with the Black Chapel because we expect it to be milder than its lighter sibling. According to the description of these on their web site the White Chapel is the full-bodied powerhouse, with three different ligeros and on seco filler. We reviewed the White Chapel here. I would have thought the one with “black” in its name would be the stronger — that’s just evil.

D: Or maybe it is genius. This Black Chapel has a rum-barrel-aged Brazilian Maduro wrapper, an Ecuadorian Corojo binder, and Dominican, Nicaraguan and Peruvian fillers. The resulting product – granted, its a little fellow – is a well-constructed, firm stick with a very fine toothed wrapper.

P: Just out of the wrapper this has an amazingly intense aroma of cured alfalfa and molasses. I’m also getting some faint florals. That makes it surprising to find that I get very little flavor on the cold draw — maybe some nuttiness and a mild pepper zing.

D: Molasses – that’s a nice call! I was getting cola candy with alfalfa. I’m opening mine with the small punch. Cold-draw is about-right, with the same cola or molasses flavor. During lighting I could see three bunches of filler which were slower to take the flame. The initial flavor, for me, is not so sweet. Green pepper and sulfur, hard-boiled egg.

P: [coughff, coughff] First puffs gave me the feeling I’d been hit on the head with a ball peen hammer. This may be a small cigar but the flavor sure isn’t. If I can manage to constrain the smoke to just my mouth it comes across as woody with a slight floral. But I keep letting it drift up my sinusus and – wow – it clears them right out.

D: The first third starts quick on such a short cigar. Less than half an inch in, it does sweeten up. There’s some egg protein, a touch of sulfur, white- and green-pepper, and a strongly floral component, like chrysanthemum. It almost rolls into a spearmint, but not quite.

P: After half an inch it has settled down and I can get a better flavor read now that’s good’n’d up plenty; rich and complex without the effects of hand tools on my knoggen. You won’t believe it – floral steamed green bean and espresso beans. This is a “bantam” size which would hold its own in the heavyweight class.

D: Agreed – there’s no escaping the flavor! I’ve got the green bean now, too. It is developing a quality of burn that clings, for me, on the top-back of my palette.

P: Halfway it has mellowed only slightly and blended just a bit, but still with the same component flavors as before.

D: Blended, yes. I’m also getting a …hmm… burnt overtone. I just had overcooked liver and onions today, and this overtone is similar to that kind of almost bitter char. It is a flavor, though, and not a tar effect, which is quite different. It’s also slightly lemony bitter. But, maybe I’m in the last third… hard to say.

P: Yes, I forgot to mention that bitter citrus earlier. And there is a good amount of pepper that lingers in the back of the throat, threatening to trigger my gagger. All that being said, it is a good, balanced flavor profile in the full-plus intensity range. This has a heavy dose of nicotine, too.

D: Last third: the flavor is very consistent. The burnt bitterness has mostly faded, but is still present. The lemony-floral green bean is the primary. Nice finish, but: it doesn’t idle well at all. As such a small size, and now such a small nub, it is very difficult to balance ignition with physical heat. I’ve relit it at least three times, and if it goes out again, I simply won’t be able to relight it.

Burn it or Spurn it?

Draw: Good enough to burn my finger nubbing it. Burn it. This is a strong cigar, even in such a tiny package. A robusto would probably put me on the couch. For a day. Modestly complex floral and veggie flavor, medium-to-full plus intensity. Medium-to-full strength. Burn line was fairly straight, but you will likely need to pull on it every minute or so. A stoking every now-and-then also helps keep the flavor pure. But be careful with overtoking, it might just knock you sideways, like bumbling through a dark chapel at night.

Punch: Burn it. Give it a few minutes after lighting to let it settle into the rich, full intensity complexity of floral steamed green beans with a peppery back-of-throat presence. My main criticism is that you have to keep working it to keep it burning (a function of its small ring gauge with a dark wrapper, I’m sure), but with so much intensity you want to take it a bit more leisurely to avoid overdosing on both the flavor and the nicotine. I’m reluctant to light up a White Chapel if it is supposed to have more punch than this one. But I will — some other day.


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Comment (1)

  1. […] A similarly good-looking stick similar to its brother the Black Chapel (reviewed here), but with a lighter wrapper. Aroma is of raisin sweetness and barnyard/urea. My stick is slightly […]

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